Editor's note: The following column originally appeared in The Washington Times.
With so much happening internationally and the number of scandals, crises and general screw-ups of the Obama administration here at home, it’s worth noting a disturbing development here on the domestic front: a rapidly expanding police state.
On my radio program last week I had the pleasure of speaking with Cheryl Chumley, a reporter for The Washington Times, about her new book, “Police State USA: How George Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming our Reality.” The title says it all, and aptly describes the shocking transformation of what had been our free society.
We all know about the scope of National Security Agency (NSA) spying. It’s fair to say at this point in our lives that the notion of privacy is all but dead and gone. However, it didn’t start there. In her book, Mrs. Chumley takes us on a ride through history, reminding us of the original intentions of the Founding Fathers versus the assault on the original design by “21st century realities.”
Keep in mind, people in the political class constantly reveal their contempt for regular citizens. That contempt is the inevitable result of a group of people who have convinced themselves that big government is necessary because the little people can’t control their own lives.
These same politicians and bureaucrats then begin to see themselves a genuinely better than everyone else. After all, if they were just like us, then they’d be part of the rabble, and they can’t have that. The solution to their dilemma is a police state.
Mrs. Chumley’s chapters in “Police State USA” provide a treatise on all the elements of society that are under attack as big government seeks to sustain itself through a police state, including aspects of an expanding and increasingly paranoid bureaucratic system that has decided the individual is the problem.
Regarding our nation being under attack by thugs intent on creating a police state, Mrs. Chumley notes:
“The Founding Fathers wouldn’t recognize America today. The God-given freedoms they championed in the Bill of Rights have been chipped away over the years by an ever-intrusive government bent on controlling all aspects of our lives in the name of safety and security. NSA wire-tapping and data collection is Orwellian in its scope. The TSA, BLM, and IRS are all jockeying for control of our lives. Warrantless searches are on the rise and even encouraged in some communities. Free speech, the right to bear arms, private property, and freedom of religion all are under attack. The Constitution has been tossed on the same trash pile as the Bible.”
Spying is one thing, but control is, in fact, key. During the Obama administration, most of us have grown concerned about the massive buy-up of ammunition of various federal agencies. The U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Agriculture, the Commerce Department and even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among so many other agencies, have acquired billions of rounds of ammunition.
In an article for Newsmax, Mrs. Chumley spoke with Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who asked a telling question: “Why exactly does a weather service need ammunition?
“NOAA — really? They have a need? One just doesn’t know why they’re doing this,” he said. “The problem is, all these agencies have their own SWAT teams, their own police departments, which is crazy. In theory, it was supposed to be the U.S. marshals that was the armed branch for the federal government.”
In addition to mini-police forces attached to federal agencies, Mrs. Chumley addresses the “acquisition by police departments of major battlefield equipment emboldens officials to strong-arm those they should be protecting.”
The New York Times reports, “During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”
Silencers? Machine guns? Now why would local law enforcement need that sort of gear?
They do if they’re conditioning everyone, including local law enforcement itself, to believe that a police state is necessary and inevitable.
The good news is, that’s a lie. It doesn’t have to be either.
Speaking to a solution, Cheryl Chumley’s book concludes with a call to “Throw the bums out — why virtue, accountability are key.”
It’s one thing to have this unfold, and quite another to allow it to continue. One of the first things necessary to take back this nation is becoming informed. “Police State USA” is the book that will get you there and inspire you to defend this nation from big government zealots who believe you won’t notice what they’re up to.
Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, New York Times best-selling author and Fox News political contributor.